AL QAIDA

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

OSAMA bin Laden is dead but his legacy lives on – not just in the dusty caves of Pak­istan and Afghanistan but here on home soil too.

His ji­had – or “holy war” – against the in­fi­dels of the West re­mains the ral­ly­ing cry for an in­creas­ing num­ber of home-grown Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ists in­tent on death and destruc­tion.

Few will for­get the car­nage of July 7, 2005, when Bri­tish bombers took ter­ror to the cap­i­tal.

Fifty two peo­ple died and 700 were in­jured in a se­ries of co­or­di­nated sui­cide at­tacks which tar­geted civil­ians us­ing London’s public trans­port sys­tem dur­ing morn­ing rush hour.

Home­made

The ter­ror­ists det­o­nated four bombs, three in quick suc­ces­sion aboard Un­der­ground trains and later a fourth on a bus in Tav­i­s­tock Square ( pic­tured).

The ex­plo­sions were caused by home­made per­ox­ide-based bombs packed into ruck­sacks. They were fol­lowed ex­actly two weeks later by an­other se­ries of at­tempted at­tacks.

The bombers may have blown their wretched selves to bits but that wasn’t the last of them.

A Se­cret In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice source said: “Al Qaida is all about big mar­quee at­tacks, 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid bomb­ings.

“They want the world to see what they’re ca­pa­ble of and what bet­ter way of do­ing that than the Olympic Games.”

Al Qaida on­line traf­fic is con­stantly mon­i­tored by MI5 agents and count­less ter­ror­ist cells have been in­fil­i­trated by un­der­cover agents.

But the in­sider warns it’s not pos­si­ble to track ev­ery threat.

He said: “The Bri­tish se­cu­rity ser­vices are the best in the world. Our agents have stopped count­less at­tacks and saved thou­sands of lives.

“We’ve had in­tel­li­gence that the lead­ers of Al Qaida would love to at­tack the Olympics but at the mo­ment they’re sim­ply too weak.

“Work by the US and UK has se­ri­ously dis­rupted their ac­tivites.

Un­de­tected

“But, that makes the or­gan­i­sa­tion even more dan­ger­ous. We have to be on the look-out for ‘clean op­er­a­tives’ – Bri­tish-born Mus­lims who’ve been rad­i­calised and gone un­de­tected.

“I am con­fi­dent there are peo­ple in this coun­try who are plan­ning to strike at the Olympics, they want thou­sands dead, blood to run in the streets.

“But I’m equally con­fi­dent we will stop them.

“Never has so much ef­fort and money been spent in pro­tect­ing mem­bers of the public “

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